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HM #6: the horrible one

Monday, June 03, 2013

I should just leave it at that. I finished. That's it.

But, really, how fun is that? Let me whine for awhile about how miserable 13.1 miles can be.

Quick backstory: The Minneapolis Half is part of The Team Ortho Series. Great organization that is known for their gear and fun races. They offer a package deal that is basically 4 HMs for less than the price of 3. Sign me up! Well, because of my schedule there were only 3 I wanted to do and I added in this one.
A friend said she would buy the bib, but then realized she had a conflict. I thought, what the heck? I'll do it!

I followed no training plan. End of the school year packing and wrap-ups had left me with little thought about this race. My head was not in the game.

And then me and the kids got sick. Hacking coughs that led to poor sleep all week. I ran 6 on Wednesday and I felt great, so I wasn't worried. My body felt fine, but the cough was getting annoying and painful. Then I spent Saturday in Urgent Care with my daughter. Ear infection. My own hacking continued to get worse. I thought about skipping the race all together, but once DD took the antibiotics she was fine and my sister came over for a babysitting slumber party and promised me they'd be fine.

Race morning: very very cold for June, but perfect weather for a run. I didn't feel horrible so I thought I could go for it. Silly me.
A goal: 1:49
B goal: 1:52

I started in my normal spot, right in front of the 2 hour pacer. DH reminded me that this was not an "A race" and to just have fun. We were in a beautiful park in Minneapolis and I was excited to run a new route. The first mile was fine. I didn't feel good, my lungs already hurt a little, but whatever.
mile 1: 8:32 a little faster than I wanted to be with a warm up, but we were on a long, even, straight road = quick pace
and that road continued so
mile 2 & 3 dipped to 7:50s. My legs felt fine and they were just moving. It was my chest, lungs, throat, hacking cough that were killing me. But I foolishly thought that I could handle it for 13 point 1 freaking miles. I thought I could power through and reminded myself that the faster I ran, the faster I'd be done. Good idea, in theory.

At mile 4 there was the 1st medical tent and I contemplated walking off. This feels horrible. I am having no fun whatsoever. I don't need this race. f*&^ it.
But then I thought about the medal and I wanted that sucker. I thought about the logistics of getting to the finish line and finding DH and telling him I gave up. I am not a quitter. I'm stronger (or stupider) than that.

mile 5: 8:07 and I am right with the 1:50 pacer. What?! How am I doing this when I feel so horrible? Maybe I should slow down. Yeah, slow down. And I told myself to take a GU. That was my plan. But I couldn't. The thought made me want to puke. So I kept running and forced myself not to cry. It hurt to breathe.

mile 6: made myself pull over to the right after a water station and take a GU. I wasn't even walking. I came to a complete stand still, closed my eyes, and gave myself a pep talk.

mile 7: 8:36 This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. I love racing! And this totally sucks. The race started at 6:30 so there was minimal crowd support. I wasn't high fiving kids. I didn't have the energy to chat with other runners. I was miserable. We were running down more straightaways. Very few hills. People were passing me left and right. And I didn't even care. I couldn't look for girls in cute outfits to pick off like I normally do. I couldn't go to my positive zen running makes everything in life manageable place. Things were not good. And then they got worse.

mile 8: 8:47 noooo! I started to walk. No offense to Gallowayers. This is only my personal rule for racing. No walking. It will only take me longer to get to the finish line. And once I start to walk it is super hard to get going again. Come on. Run. Make up a C goal. It's called FINISH the flippin race.

Mile 9 &10: I don't even want to talk about it.

Mile 11: Hallelujah for mile 11. Suddenly I heard a band, like a real high school marching band. My spirits lifted. And then I saw them. And they were adorable! On top of a huge hill that we rounded and ran down. yipeeeee! I waved like a wild woman and grinned down the hill. I'm back. Let's go. And luckily for me the course then took us through some of the prettiest places in Minneapolis. Running over the Stone Arch Bridge was breathtaking. The Mississippi as far as you can see on both sides. I stretched my arms out and pretended I could feel the spray.

Mile 12: 8:59 and I didn't even care. I was running down St. Anthony Main on a cobblestone road. It hurt but I was going to finish.

Mile 13.1 This was the first race that I didn't sprint down the finisher's chute. I was doing everything I could not to cough up a lung. I saw DH waiting for me and, unfortunately, I couldn't even smile.

1:54:15 8:42 pace
Not what I wanted, but not so bad either. I got the medal. I get to wear the cute Finisher tee with pride.

If I had started slower, would I have had a better second half?I don't think so. My legs aren't even sore today. But who knows? Maybe I should have toughed it out and stuck with the 1:50 pacer. I've never run with a pacer before, maybe the energy would have carried me along. But probably not? Ahhhh, the mind games we can play with ourselves...

What I do know is that I powered through. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fun. It wasn't a powerful, meaningful, positive racing experience. And that's OK. That can't all be PRs. Running isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

Of course, I think I would've PRed had I been healthy. This was a speedy course. So you know what that means: I'm running it next year! And I will look back and remember how I powered through a horrible, no good, very bad run.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love your determination even when it's really really tough! You kept fighting thru it. You're really strong. Give yourself earned it!! I too would love your race times. I'm not a fast runner at all. I live in a suburb of Minneapolis and have ran in many of the Team Ortho races times and difficult moments as well. Keep up the great work amazing runnergirl!!
    1575 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    What can you say? You powered through and got out there. (now I feel all woosy for begging off a run because its raaaaiiiinnninnnggg.....)
    1628 days ago
    Oh man I hate when I feel like crap and a race is just sucking. You did exactly what I do... focus on the medal and the fact that you're not a quitter. I may miss my goal, I may walk and whine, but I will finish. I don't think it would have made any difference if you had started slower. You weren't far off your goal either! I would mark this one as an A for next year.
    1630 days ago
    I'm sorry this race was not as enjoyable as you normally have but YOU FINISHED! That is amazing, impressive, extraordinary! With the week you had and how sick you were, the fact that you ran and finished is supernatural! Also, you had no one cheering for you until the end. We need the energy from the supporters. I'm glad they were there for you at the end and it sounds beautiful!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1631 days ago
    You are freaking amazing! To just even show up when you are not feeling well and then be able to push through and run what you did sweetheart. You should be proud of yourself! I dream of one day in my life to be able to run in under 2 1/2 hrs - so I would love your Sick HM time! LOL - congrats girl - glad you were able to push through it and finish!
    1631 days ago
    First, love that photo.
    I'm a big fan of the team ortho races (did the Get Lucky and Monster Dash in Chicago, didn't know about the discount you got!)
    I love this recap because if a race doesn't go my way, i get so mad but there is a silver lining to all of it. I think you did amazing and I bet in the next one the A goal will be blasted through. :D
    1631 days ago
    I should not be surprised that it's my first time back to SP in too long and I'm immediately met with a blog by you that inspires me to push past my own excuses. I'm struggling with similar respiratory issues and was contemplating skipping out of my 6-miler tonight, but I think I'll be like you and just push through. :)
    Your time/pace would totally impress me even if you hadn't been so sick. You are amazing!
    I do hope that you recover this week and that your summer is filled with runs that you love!
    1631 days ago
    I have had runs like that too. The point is that you finished and it sounds like you still had still did pretty good despite being sick. emoticon
    1631 days ago
    Awww, sorry you had a tough race. It happens. A few years ago, I ran a half marathon in hot, humid conditions about a week after giving blood. I figured, almost a week has gone by, how bad could it be? BAD! Wow, that was tough.

    Not every race is going to be fast or easy or some combination. But the good thing is to stick with it and finish if you can, and be smart enough to pull the plug if you have to.

    Hope you're feeling better soon!
    1631 days ago
    Fighting through. Never quitting. Rethink. Regroup. Re-evaluate your goals. Make a new one. Keep on keeping on! And get to that finishing line no matter what!
    I'm not a runner and I can't get the feeling or all these time differences between races. But I find your blog absolutely inspiring! Because the runner's mentality, the one of keeping your eyes on the prize and doing your best to getting to the end, is the one that we should adopt with all our goals.
    Thanks for the inspiration, Sparkfriend! And congratulations!
    1631 days ago
    My goal in life is to beat 2 hours - you did great! But, I know what you mean. That happened to me at the last Disneyworld HM. My whole left leg hurt so bad and I wasn't enjoying the race - and it was Disney! That's when I decided to take a break and find out what was wrong with my leg. And I know what you mean about walking to - I feel the same way.

    But you did great and you hung in there. Sort of a metaphor for challenges in life that we don't want to do, but sometimes have to - then we are better off because we did.

    1632 days ago
    I also agree with no walking - I feel once I start walking it will become a run walk - Not what I want!! emoticon You Did GREAT!!!

    Feel Better!! - Patty
    1632 days ago
  • JEREMY723
    Personally, I think 1:54 is a pretty good time! Sorry that you didn't enjoy it more, or at least some!
    1632 days ago
    I agree with no walking!!!!!!!!!!! Go you momma gettin out there even when you feel poopy! emoticon
    1632 days ago
    I was expecting to see your time was over 2 hrs - but you were only 2 minutes off your B goal! That is wonderful considering you were SICK. I think you must have felt worse than your time tells because I can you are disappointed. I hope that shirt & medal will remind you of what you learned from this race.

    PS: If it is any consolation, your sick HM time would whip the pants off most of us Sparkers.
    1632 days ago
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